Eye changes and pregnancy

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Here’s an excuse to treat yourself to those Jenna Lyons copycat frames you’ve been eyeing : planning for pregnancy.

Pregnant women have two somewhat surprising changes to their eyes during pregnancy.

  • Change in vision: Most experts describe a “myopic shift” during pregnancy, meaning a shift towards near sightedness. Our estrogen and progesterone levels rage during pregnancy, which increases the water content of our cornea and lens, which affects our vision. For those of you who are not plagued by poor vision, near sighted means you can see objects that are near. The further they get, the blurrier they are. For those of you with perfect or nearsighted vision, your vision can get worse with pregnancy (that’s 60% of you!).
  • Contact lens intolerance: About 25% of women become intolerant of their contact lenses during pregnancy (yes, even women wearing those wonderful Dailies). Experts think it’s because your cornea changes shape during pregnancy. The contact lens no longer fits properly. Eighty percent of pregnant women have dry eye complaints as well, which may cause irritation with contact lenses.

Luckily both of these changes resolve completely within the first few months post partum. Your eyes return to their prepregnancy state.

So what’s my logic for the new frames?
If you wear contact lenses, there is a chance you won’t be able to stand them during pregnancy. You’ll need glasses instead. And you shouldn’t get a new prescription / new glasses during pregnancy because your vision is changing slightly. You will need to get them now, before pregnancy. Ta-da!

 

Sources:

Grant, Aaron and Sophia Chung. Eye in Pregnancy: Ophthalmologic and Neuro-ophthalmologic Changes. Clinical Obstetrics and Gyencology. Volume 56, Number2, 397-412, 2013

Dinn, Robert et al. Ocular changes in pregnancy. Obstetrical and gynecological Survery. Vol 58 (2): 137-144. 2003

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